Democrats begin to cave on spending cuts. "The outlines of a plan to avoid a possible government shutdown began to emerge Friday evening, as Democrats reacted with cautious optimism to a Republican proposal to delay discussion of some of the most contentious budget cuts demanded by GOP lawmakers in the House." Remember, if Senate Republicans didn't hold the line against the omnibus spending bill in the lame-duck session, we wouldn't be cutting spending now.
Some very smart people are flops as presidential candidates. "Mitch Daniels on Friday said he was 'gratified' by New York Times columnist David Brooks's piece urging him to run for president and conceded he is still thinking about it, but added there other ways to take part in the national conversation besides 'throwing yourself off that cliff.'" You can't accuse him of pandering to potential primary voters. Or even wooing them.
No wonder Daniels has bombed with movement conservatives. "Gee. Will Republican governors follow Mitch Daniels's lead? Or Chris Christie's. Mitch Daniels's first official act when elected governor was to call for increasing the personal income tax in the state. Then he wanted other tax hikes. More recently he has suggested that a value-added tax would be a fine addition to the federal income tax. And he praised a national energy tax ... an oil import fee. An oil import fee is a national energy tax on training wheels. This is a model of what not to do as governor."
People forget that Mike Huckabee was a bust outside of the Christian-conservative slice of the Republican electorate.
Egyptians say Obama was too timid during the revolution. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's denials go over like a lead balloon. The Obama team is so used to hearing its own spin, it is no doubt genuinely shocked when those outside the Kool Aid splash zone don't buy it. (Recall Obama's howler: "History will end up recording that at every juncture in the situation in Egypt, that we were on the right side of history") )
If the test is whether Iran's nuclear program has been slowed, sanctions have flunked. "The U.N. atomic watchdog has received new information regarding allegations that Iran may be seeking to develop a nuclear-armed missile, the agency said in a report voicing deepening concern about the issue. The confidential document from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signalled growing frustration at what it sees as Iran's lack of cooperation with a long-running investigation into its disputed nuclear programme."
If the economic "recovery" petering out already? "The nation's economy grew less quickly at the end of 2010 than previously estimated, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The nation's gross domestic product grew just 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to the new report."
| February 27, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories: Morning Bits
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